A data breach can have a tremendous impact on a company’s reputation and sales. Just think, for example, about a retailer whose customer lists with personal information being compromised and the challenge of reestablishing trust.
And then there’s the actual cost of fixing the damage. In its sixth annual report on the issue of data breaches, security firm Symantec (NASDAQ: SYMC) said the cost of recovery continues to go up. The Ponemon Institute, which conducted the study for Symantec, found that the average data breach in 2010 cost $7.2 million organization-wide.
That’s up from 2009, when a data breach cost $6.8 million — a rise of 7 percent, according to the “2010 Annual Study: U.S. Cost of a Data Breach” report.
One of the conclusions from the study is that costs for breaches continue to grow, and sometimes surprisingly so. “Every year [data breaches] cost a little bit more,” Larry Ponemon, chairman and founder of Ponemon Institute, told InternetNews.com.
Ironically, part of the increase comes from organizations trying to remedy breaches as soon as possible, the report said. “Regulators like a quick response,” noted Ponemon, but responding more rapidly drives up the cost per breached record.
Check out eSecurity Planet’s full report on the new study.